Coffee can be more than just a part of the morning ritual. This pick-me-up is packed with antioxidants, one of the most beneficial nutrients for the body. Now, research suggests that regular intake of coffee might be associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. So, while one should not rely on the beverage to manage diabetes risk, regular coffee drinkers might benefit from understanding the link between coffee and diabetes.
1. Antioxidant activity
Coffee is a beverage rich in antioxidants—compounds that combat oxidative stress in the body. Oxidative stress develops with an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants, so the antioxidants in coffee may help neutralize these free radicals, shielding the body against cellular damage.
2. Influence on insulin resistance
Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, plays a crucial role in regulating blood sugar. Reduced sensitivity to insulin is a hallmark of type 2 diabetes. The compounds found in coffee are believed to have a positive impact on insulin sensitivity. So, by enhancing the body’s response to insulin, coffee may contribute toward improved blood sugar control.
3. Reduced inflammation
Chronic inflammation is a known contributor to various diseases, including diabetes. Coffee, with its anti-inflammatory properties, might act as a shield against chronic inflammation. By calming down the inflammatory responses in the body, coffee may indirectly contribute to a reduced risk of developing diabetes. Further, new research suggests that coffee boosts levels of certain anti-inflammatory hormones and decreases levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and leptin—substances that promote inflammation.
4. Energy boost
For many, a cup of coffee gives them a boost of energy to start the day. This energy spike might translate into increased physical activity, a key lifestyle habit that aids in diabetes prevention. This is because regular exercise improves insulin sensitivity and helps maintain overall health, both crucial factors in reducing diabetes risk.
Additionally, the social aspect of drinking coffee should not be overlooked. Engaging with friends over a cup of coffee may help reduce stress—a key contributor to higher diabetes risk. While new research suggests a link between coffee intake and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, the precise causality still needs to be confirmed. Further, overall lifestyle and daily habits play a key role in managing the risk of diabetes. So, while one may continue to enjoy coffee, they should not rely on it to single-handedly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.